Nouritza Matossian is a writer, actress, broadcaster and human rights activist. She writes on the arts, contemporary music, history and Armenia.
Matossian published the first biography and critical study of the Greek composer Iannis Xenakis, the source book on his life, architecture and music based on ten years collaboration with him. She adapted it into a 50 minute documentary for BBC2, "Something Rich and Strange". She lectures worldwide on Xenakis.
She published the first ground-breaking biography, Black Angel, A Life of Arshile Gorky in 1998. Her twenty years' research and travels in Armenia, have brought her closer to her own roots through the mysterious life of the Armenian American artist.
Ararat, the award-winning film by Atom Egoyan and Miramax, was inspired by her biography, Black Angel. She acted as consultant to Egoyan who modelled the female lead role Ani on her.
Nouritza Matossian wrote and performs a solo show on Gorky's life from the viewpoint of his four beloved women with images and music. It has been produced world wide over 80 times at the Barbican, Tate Modern, London, New York, Los Angeles, the Edinburgh Festival, Cyprus, Paris, Lebanon, Iran, Romania and Georgia. In Armenia she performed it simultaneously in two languages.
Nouritza Matossian broadcasts on the BBC and contributes to newspapers and magazines: The Independent, The Guardian, The Economist, The Observer.
She was Honorary Cultural Attache for the Armenian Embassy in London from 1991-2000.
She spent her childhood in Cyprus with her Armenian family. Educated in England, she graduated with Honours in Philosophy, (B.Phil) then studied music, theatre and mime in Dartington and Paris. She has a command of nine languages. She organized the Cyprus Music Workshop in Lapithos in 1973 introducing contemporary music in a series of concerts in Bellapais, Curium, Salamis and Nicosia before the invasion.
She has interviewed the foremost composers of modern music, enjoyed a lifelong friendship with Iannis Xenakis and in October 2005 was a consultant for the Xenakis Festival at the South Bank which was awarded the prize for Best Festival of Music in the UK by the Music Philharmonic Society. Together with Rohan de Saram she will present the illustrated concert programme featured in this festival as well as lecture film screenings and discussions on in a mini festival in Cyprus, 1-5 December.
• Xenakis by Nouritza Matossian, Moufflon Publishing
This new illustrated updated edition with additional photographs and scores will be available at all Xenakis events for the special price of £19.
"Nouritza Matossian's book is the fruit of ten years' collaboration with me. It is a source book on my work. She has always maintained her own independent perspective. I can recommend it most highly."
- Iannis Xenakis
Even those inclined to question this composer's musicality are likely to be caught up in this account of his participation in the post-war Greek Resistance, his architectural work with Le Corbusier and his struggles to gain a musical technique and hearing. With its many documents and diagrams, this is a revealing contribution to the history of the post-war avant-garde.
- The Indpendent
with Nouritza Matossian